Data reveals dozens of care homes in England have lost more than 20 residents to Covid-19
Dozen of nursing homes in England have recorded more than 20 deaths of their residents involving Covid-19, reveal the data published by the Commission for the quality of care (CQC).
The CQC has released information on the number of residents who have died with Covid-19 in each care home, saying it wants to be more transparent, following previous requests for data sharing.
The highest number of Covid deaths on record in a care home in England was in Wigan, where one home has lost 44 residents.
The CQC, however, stressed that the number of Covid deaths in a nursing home should not be treated as an indicator of the quality or safety of the home.
Factors that could influence the number of deaths include transmission rates in the local community, the size of care homes, age and the health and care needs of residents, he said.
Nursing homes tended to register more deaths among residents during the pandemic if they were in areas of England with the most coronavirus deaths, and if they were large enough.
The figures illustrate the geographic differences between the north and south of the country, between the first and second waves of the virus.
By the time of the first wave, the first quarter of 2020-2021, Northwestern nursing homes reported the highest number of Covid-19 deaths.
The region has also had the highest number of Covid deaths in the wider community, according to figures from Public Health England.
Between April 10 and June 30, 37 large retirement homes each recorded at least 20 deaths involving Covid-19.
More than half of these outbreaks, including 21, were in the north of England.
At the height of the second wave, in the last quarter of 2020-2021, nursing homes in the south-east recorded the highest number of coronavirus deaths. Deaths in the wider society were also high.
In July last year, ITV News UK editor-in-chief Paul Brand asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock about his handling of home visits during the pandemic.
Between January 1 and March 31, 18 major houses recorded at least 20 deaths from Covid-19 – only one of them was in the north of England.
The figures include nursing home residents who died in any setting, not just in their care home.
The CQC said it had not released the data earlier during the pandemic because it felt it could have had a “serious impact on the continuity of care.”
But he said the risks have now changed.
He added that the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes has dropped significantly as the vaccine is rolled out.
Kate Terroni, CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Services, called for “consideration and respect” for residents, families and staff.
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She said: “We have a duty to be transparent and act in the public interest, and we are committed to releasing data at this level, but only once we have felt able to do so. in the most accurate and secure manner possible given the complexity and sensitivity of the data.
“In doing so, we aim to provide a more complete picture of the impact of Covid-19 on nursing homes, the people who live there and their families.
“It is important to be clear, however, that while this data relates to the deaths of people who were residents of nursing homes, many of them did not die or contract Covid-19 in a nursing home. “
The Health Foundation said the data shows the government’s claim to place “a ring of protection” around nursing homes “was not based on reality.”
Professor Martin Green, Managing Director of Care England, a membership body for healthcare providers, said: “Every death is a tragedy and it would be very disrespectful not to learn lessons at all levels. Likewise, each death must be seen in context. “
He continued, “We don’t think this data is a reflection of the quality and I would like to pay tribute to all the frontline staff who have done a heroic job and we must not forget that many of them have also lost his life. “
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, added: “It would be easy to assume that if a care home has seen a large number of Covid-19 deaths, that must mean it’s not very good, but that would be unfair.
“The care homes that have been hit the most are usually in areas where there have been a lot of Covid-19 cases in the local community, so this is more of a tragic geographic accident than anything else. . “
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs expressed the government’s sympathies, adding: “Throughout the pandemic, we have done everything possible to protect vulnerable people in adult social services.
“We have provided billions of pounds to support the industry, including on infection control and prevention measures, free PPE, priority vaccinations and additional testing.”